Voter turnout light for Primary Election
Several seats closely watched Tuesday evening

Wanda English Burnett


Incumbent Sheriff Thomas J. “Tom” Grills handily took the most votes on the Republican ticket guaranteeing him a spot on the fall ballot.

“The good Lord had his way,” Sheriff Grills told The Versailles Republican shortly after the victory. He was surrounded by family and friends who cheered loudly when the final count was shown on the monitors in the courthouse lobby in Versailles. Grills garnered 2384 votes.

Newcomer to the political scene, Gandy Browning, got 1502 votes in his bid for sheriff with Donald Edwards trailing with 310 votes.

Browning told The Versailles Republican, “We ran a very positive campaign, I’m very proud.” He said he met a lot of wonderful people while campaigning and said while this was his first try in the political world, it probably won’t be his last.

William Bill Dramann was unopposed on the Democrat ticket for sheriff.

Another local race Ripley County Republicans were watching closely was that of auditor.

William “Bill” Wagner easily won with 2410 votes. Challenger Mark Busching received 1511 votes.
Wagner watched the numbers closely as did his wife Cathy. As the precinct results rolled in, he never took his victory for granted until the end. He told The Versailles Republican he appreciated every vote. “We’ve met a lot of people and seen a lot of places we wouldn’t have before the campaign. Win or lose the race, I would have still felt it was successful just from the experience,” he noted. Of course, he, his family and campaign crew had worked hard for the end results and he was pleased.

William J. McDonald narrowly pulled ahead of Dave Simon, by 45 votes, to win the county council seat he was seeking. McDonald had a lot of family support including grandchildren. “My whole family worked together,” he told The Versailles Republican. He said he was proud of their efforts because they ran an up front, professional campaign. He said he looks forward to making a difference for Ripley County once again.

Jeffrey J. Volz had the top votes for the Osgood Town Board seat on the Republican ticket with 148 votes, followed by Linda Krinop with 133 and Larry Winters at 97 votes. Norman P. Kappes was unopposed on the Democrat ticket.

Milan School Board saw the following results with the following gaining the most votes: Timothy Tim Tuttle (652 votes); Gregory D. Lewis (652 votes) and Randy Kirk (605 votes).

In Ripley County Randy Frye garnered the most votes with 1206 followed by Cindy Meyer Ziemke with 1078 votes for Republican candidate for State Representative for District 67. Frye went on to take the entire district and win the race overall.

Travis Hankins handily took Ripley County for US Representative District 9 with 2733 votes followed by Mike Sodrel with 892 votes. However, the end results saw him defeated by only 304 votes with Todd Young pulling ahead the victor for the Republican party. He will face incumbent Democrat Baron Hill in the fall election.

A large rally was held election night at the Osgood Town Hall for Hankins with local supporters. The newcomer to the political world gave a powerful speech and told those gathered to “save their signs” he would be back.

Johnny Nugent, Republican, had 3053 votes from Ripley County voters with his challenger Lindsay Patterson getting 1015 votes for State Senator for District 43.

Dan Coats led the way for Indiana US Senator on the Republican ballot with 1775 votes from Ripley County voters. He went on to win the race for the seat. Coats stated, “We will run the race that is set before us with total dedication and total commitment.”

In Ripley County Martin Marty Brunner pulled ahead (335 votes) of Jud McMillin (311) votes for the State Representative District 68 race. Incumbent State Representative Robert J. Bischoff was unopposed on the Democrat ticket.

According to Mary Ann McCoy, Ripley County Clerk, the process went smoothly with the first precinct reporting before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the courthouse. Although McCoy has been the clerk in year’s past, this was her first time with the new machines.

Voter turnout was low - but usual for a primary election. There are 19,867 registered voters in the county with only 5319 ballots cast for a total of 26.77% voting. There are 27 precincts in the county.